The Morning Report
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The City Council is set to vote Monday on a contract with nonprofit Jewish Family Service to continue its safe parking programs and provide around-the-clock access at its Mission Valley lot.
The city now has two safe lots in Kearny Mesa and one in Mission Valley that can accommodate RVs.
Mayor Todd Gloria announced Friday that he’s proposing a $1.4 million contract that includes $440,000 to allow the Mission Valley lot to remain open 24 hours a day. Now people who park in the JFS lots must leave by 7 a.m. each day.
“Creating 24-hour access to safe parking will help folks whose work and family schedules aren’t well-aligned with the current hours of operation, enabling them to not only park in a safe place but also access supportive services and get on a path to housing,” Gloria wrote in a release.
The announcement follows a Voice of San Diego story documenting the challenges faced by a family of six who have recently lived in a van. The Raschke family stayed in an RV until it was impounded by the city in February. They told Voice they decided against parking in the city’s Mission Valley safe lot despite the prospect of more tickets from police in part because of its restricted hours.
The Raschkes aren’t the only homeless San Diegans who have voiced that predicament.
A UC San Diego evaluation of the safe parking program released in January recommended that the city provide 24-hour access in at least one lot.
“Listening session feedback from (safe parking program) clients overwhelmingly indicated support for increased access to the lots during the day,” UCSD researchers wrote. “Allowing clients to stay until 8 or 9 a.m. in the morning would reduce stress significantly for some, as they would have time to gather their thoughts, plan their day, and pack up their things in a calmer fashion.”
Researchers also concluded opening the lots earlier would give participants more time to connect with case managers and lessen “the stress, mental effort and ‘gas cost’ of having to find a place to stay for the day, for those who are not employed.”